Exterior view of UCF's CREOL building 2007

UCF Lands $7.5 Million in Grants from Federal Agency

By: Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala on

The University of Central Florida is the only university in Florida to be awarded federal 2020 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grants – and it snagged three of them.

The Department of Defense announced the recipients of the 26 awards. For UCF, that means more than $7.5 million over the next five years.

Two professors will be working double-time as they are on two of the three grants along with other colleagues at UCF and partner institutions. The winning awards are:

Quantum Benefits without Quantum Fragility: The Classical Entanglement of Light, led by College of Optics and Photonics Professor Ayman Abouraddy, along with UCF Pegasus Professors Demetri Christodoulides and Aristide Dogariu.

The Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers group and their collaborators at the University of Southern California, Cornell University and Brown University will study the unique behavior displayed by optical beams whose various degrees of freedom — such as their spatial and temporal dimensions — are inextricably intertwined. The team will explore different approaches to creating these novel forms of light fields and study how they freely propagate and how they interact with photonic devices. In addition to contributions to science, the investigators anticipate this research will lead to applications in the areas of optical imaging, sensing, and communications.

Weyl Fermion Optoelectronics will be led by USC Professor Mercedeh Khajavikhan, formerly of UCF, and co-principal investigators Christodoulides and Madhab Neupane an assistant professor from the department of physics. Other partners are from Northeastern University, University of Tennessee and Purdue University

The team will investigate unique electron-motion patterns, their light-induced properties and related devices of newly discovered quantum materials known as Weyl semimetals. These new semimetals feature unique electron patterns both within their interiors and along their surfaces, analogues to how the unique propagation of electrons through certain materials brought about the rise of transistors, this more complex electron dynamic promises the development of new technologies. The team will explore a new generation of photonic materials and structures like detectors, switches, integrated polarization devices, non-reciprocal elements, and modulators.

The last award was made to Clemson University with UCF’s Dogariu as a co-investigator. The research is focused on Spin and Orbital Angular Momentum.

Share This Article

Featured Content image

UCF Satellite Launches Successfully into Space from Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne Rocket

University of Central Florida planetary science continues its ascent as a leader in space research with another high-profile flight, this time aboard Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne, which was blasted into orbit...

Read More

Featured Content image

Arecibo Observatory Helps Researchers Find Possible ‘First Hints’ of Low-Frequency Gravitational Waves

Data from Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has been used to help detect the first possible hints of low-frequency disturbances in the curvature of space-time. The results were presented today at the...

Read More

Featured Content image

UCF Engineering and Biology Researchers Collaborate to Aid Coral Reef Restoration

Florida’s threatened coral reefs have a more than $4 billion annual economic impact on the state’s economy, and the University of Central Florida researchers are zeroing in on one factor...

Read More

Featured Content image

UCF Developed Sensor Passes First Test, On Track for Future Moon Missions

A prototype sensor that detects Moondust by shooting lasers through the sky has successfully completed its first hurdle. That means UCF is one step closer to building the real instrument...

Read More